In Memoriam: John Michael Williford


Robert Emery, CHP, DrPH

John Michael (Mike) Williford passed away 17 September 2015. Born 7 September 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Mike graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a degree in health physics and completed his master's in nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University. Since the mid-1980s Mike lived in the Houston, Texas, area and served in several radiation safety capacities with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC), ultimately serving as the radiation safety officer for the UTMDACC Proton Therapy Center until his retirement in 2013. Mike was predeceased by his parents, Blake and Grace Williford, and sister, Becky Burnette (Mikie). He is survived by a brother, Avert Williford (Donna), and sister, Kathy Guin (Bill).

Mike had an encyclopedic knowledge of a broad range of technical health physics subjects, which he freely shared with colleagues and others at UTMDACC. He successfully dealt with the entire spectrum of medical health physics issues at one of the largest cancer institutions in the world. He was particularly adept at explaining the practical application of health physics principles in medical research and diagnostic and treatment situations to all levels of professional and service staff. Mike was always cheerful and enjoyed interacting with people. He will be sorely missed.